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Reddit suffers massive breach as all user data before 2007 is compromised

Reddit suffers massive breach as all user data before 2007 is compromised

2 Aug, 2018 – ITPRO
SMS-based two-factor authentication is “not as secure as we thought” the company admits
Reddit has announced it had suffered a “serious attack” in June after a malicious actor intercepted its employees’ SMS-based two-factor authentication (2FA) setup.
An attacker compromised a handful of Reddit employees’ accounts between 14 and 18 June and gained access to some recent user data, such as email addresses, and all data from between 2005 and 2007, including account credentials and email addresses.
Announcing the breach following an investigation, the social news aggregator said it now realizes text message-based 2FA is “not nearly as secure as we would hope” and has recommended everyone moves to token-based 2FA – after identifying this as the most likely point of intrusion.
“Although this was a serious attack, the attacker did not gain write access to Reddit systems; they gained read-only access to some systems that contained backup data, source code and other logs,” CTO Chris Slowe posted on Reddit’s announcements page.
“They were not able to alter Reddit information, and we have taken steps since the event to further lock down and rotate all production secrets and API keys, and to enhance our logging and monitoring systems.”
Slowe said the company became aware of the breach the following day, on 19 June, and had been working with cloud and source code hosting providers to best understand the full extent of what was compromised.
Among other information accessed were tailored ‘email digests’ sent to users between 3 and 17 June this year, each linked with a username and email address, as well as other data such as Reddit source code, internal logs, and employee workspace files.
Reddit says it has reported the incident to the relevant authorities and is forcing password-resets for users who may have been affected by the incident. Moreover, the company is taking measures to improve security beyond SMS-based 2FA – including enhanced logging, more encryption and token-based 2FA.
The incident highlights the frailty of SMS-based 2FA, with industry voices overwhelming castigating text message as a secure authentication method in the wake of this breach. Phone number hijacking, for instance, spiked shortly after SMS-based 2FA became widely adopted, according to Toby Murray, a computing lecturer at the University of Melbourne.
Even in 2016 the US Federal Trade Commission’s chief technologist Lorrie Cranor issued a warning about the ease by which attackers can steal mobile phone numbers in order to bypass 2FA and compromise their sensitive data, after it happened to herself.
“Having a mobile phone account hijacked can waste hours of a victim’s time and cause them to miss important calls and messages. However, this crime is particularly problematic due to the growing use of text messages to mobile phones as part of authentication schemes for financial services and other accounts,” she wrote on the FTC’s website.
“The security of two-factor authentication schemes that use phones as one of the factors relies on the assumption that someone who steals your password has not also stolen your phone number.
“Thus, mobile carriers and third-party retailers need to be vigilant in their authentication practices to avoid putting their customers at risk of major financial loss and having email, social network, and other accounts compromised.”
Meanwhile, Reddit’s Chris Slowe also announced the company had hired its first head of security two-and-a-half months ago, who he would not identify by name, adding “he has been put through his paces in his first few months”.

Are you cyber aware? Top 4 cybercrimes in South Africa

Are you cyber aware? Top 4 cybercrimes in South Africa
8 August 2018,
Cybercrime is ranked globally as the second most perpetrated economic crime. South Africa is a hotspot for cybercrime with 29% of the respondents to the Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey 2018 by PWC responding that they had experienced cybercrime in the past two years.
What types of cybercrimes are the top ones in South Africa?
• Malware attacks
Malware is short for malicious software. These attacks are designed to secretly operate on a user’s system without them being aware. They can be ransomware, spyware or control and command, to name a few. The malware is designed with a specific objective in mind to either siphon information from the system, disrupt the operations of systems or to demand payment from the user. They are usually infiltrated into the system through Trojans, viruses or worms. They can be distributed through electronic communication (email, compromised websites, text, and vulnerable network services) or via physical media (USB sticks, CDs, DVDs, etc).
• Attacks against cryptocurrency exchanges
With the rise of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, there is a rise on attacks on the exchanges. These attacks are usually Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks where the cybercriminals will cause the system to crash continuously and demand a ransom to stop the attacks.
• Data breaches
According to Investopedia, a data breach is an unauthorised access and retrieval of sensitive information by an individual or software system. The biggest case of this type of breach was the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica data breach. This can be very detrimental to a business’ reputation as well as the legal cases which could be brought against the directors if this breach should occur.
• When people enter a computer or system without authorisation you may be considered that you are hacked. There is ethical hacking where people hack into systems to test the securities, but the hacking we are considering is when people break into a system with the intention of creating damage. The hacker will change the system requirements or information. They may also hold the system to ransom through their hack. Hackers use a variety of tools to break into systems. They are vulnerability scanners, password cracking, packet sniffers, spoofing attacks, root kits, Trojan horses, viruses and key loggers.
Now that we know what types of cybercrimes are being predominately committed in South Africa.
How can we become cyber-aware?
• Get educated.
It is important to train users of best practices when it comes to potential cybercrimes they could encounter. Teaching your employees how to prevent the distribution of malware and also how to identify malware you will be well on your way to protecting your systems against cyber-attacks.
• Use a reputable anti-virus programme.
It is important that you have the latest antivirus program installed on your computer and kept up to date.
• Secure your network.
It is important you have excellent network securities in place. You should ensure you have a firewall in place and should your employees need to log in to the network remotely, they should do it over a secure VPN.
• Do regular website security audits.
This will protect your business as well as your customers from potential attacks by making sure your website is not vulnerable to attacks.
• Create regular back-ups.
It is important to have physical back-ups of your information which has been verified that it is not infected. This will ensure that you won’t lose too much data should you be a victim of a cybercrime.

Apple becomes the world’s first trillion-dollar company

Apple becomes the world’s first trillion-dollar company
3 Aug, 2018- ITpro
iPhone maker in rude health as its rising share prices hit a landmark valuation
Apple has become the world’s first trillion-dollar company after its share prices soared and pushed the company past the landmark valuation.
The iPhone maker pulled in profits of $11.5 billion over three months after recording record sales that hit $53.3 billion. Apple’s shares jumped, pushing the value of the company up from $935 billion towards $1 trillion.
“Growth was strong all around the world,” said Apple’s finance chief, Luca Maestri.
The company is in an alarmingly healthy financial state with $285 billion of cash reserves and it made a net profit of $48.5 billion in 2017.
Cupertino’s journey to the trillion dollar valuation famously started in the garage of co-founder Steve Jobs with the Apple I computer. Over its 42-year history, it has become a groundbreaking technology company making many celebrated products such as the Macintosh, the iPod and the iconic iPhone.
Surprisingly, the iPhone actually didn’t sell as well as expected and Apple has fallen behind Chinese firm Huawei in the smartphone market, but the company still managed to make huge profits on the iPhone X by selling it at a higher price.
Apple posted its quarterly revenue of $53.3 billion on Wednesday, an increase of 17% from the year before and quarterly earnings per diluted share of $2.34, up 40%.
“We’re thrilled to report Apple’s best June quarter ever, and our fourth consecutive quarter of double-digit revenue growth,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Our Q3 results were driven by continued strong sales of iPhone, Services and Wearables, and we are very excited about the products and services in our pipeline.”

Beitbridge border control only has two working computers – DA

8.8.2018 – Citizen
The party has called Malusi Gigaba’s ‘war on queues’ a farce.
The Democratic Alliance on Wednesday said the immigration office at the Beitbridge border post had only two working computers, partly explaining the long wait endured by those travelling to South Africa’s northern neighbour.
DA home affairs spokesman Haniff Hoosen visited the border post and found staff struggling to do their work because of a lack of resources and outdated technology.
“For example, there are supposed to be 16 computers available and functioning to process people entering or leaving the border. However, only two computers are currently working. The fact that there are only two computers available to process the high number of people who cross the border every day confirms that Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba is completely out of touch.
“Minister Gigaba’s ‘war on queues’ is clearly a farce.”
Hoosen said that, during their visit, DA officials heard complaints from people at the border who said they were told they had to pay bribes of the order of R200 if they wanted to skip the queue.
He added that residents of Musina in Limpopo province complained that Zimbabweans were able to simply walk across the border undetected.
“This is an indictment on both the DHA (the department of home affairs) and the ANC government whose inefficiencies in allocating adequate resources to our secure the borders.
“The officials at Beitbridge cannot win this fight alone, despite their genuine dedication to their work. They need the support of the DHA and border control management to effectively control the flow of people at the border post and to and secure the border from illegal immigration.”
The department of home affairs deployed an extra 37 officials to the border post ahead of Zimbabwe’s national elections last week but travellers complained of waiting up to six hours to cross.
Department of home affairs spokesman Thabo Mokgola declined to comment.
“We are not going to respond to the DA’s populist crusade,” he told ANA.

Street art to boost Cape Town community tourism

9 August 2018 – Tourism Update

Street art is not only an expression of the artist’s creativity, but of the spirit of the city
Cape Town has launched a large-scale street art project aimed at encouraging community tourism and furthering a better understanding of public art.
The pilot project involves local artists painting murals at public housing in four as yet unnamed areas across the city. It ends in June; where-after it will be expanded into a mural art programme aimed at developing emerging artists. “We will prioritise storytelling through murals by commissioning local artists; consult and collaborate with communities; transfer skills and develop community based artists and emerging artists,” explains Alderman JP Smith, the city’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security and Social Services.
“Public art brings cultural, social and economic value to neighbourhoods. It reflects our society and can enrich communities. As a creative city, we are committed to enabling all forms of public art, as well as nurturing and promoting local artists,” said Smith.
The project was conceptualised after the second annual International Public Arts Festival (IPAF), which took place in Cape Town last month. The IPAF was initiated by non-profit organization Baz-Art, which will now partner with the city’s Arts and Culture Department on the pilot project.
Smith says murals could play an important role in transforming spaces and communities all over Cape Town and in so doing, contribute to social and economic development. “With these murals, the city hopes to demonstrate ways in which art can contribute towards transformation, establish a positive and stronger neighbourhood identity, make art more accessible to everyone and improve our public facilities and spaces,” he says.

Namibian tourism statistics: The Rainmaker Hospitality & Tourism Marketing Academy

Namibian tourism statistics: The Rainmaker Hospitality & Tourism Marketing Academy
07 August 2018
The rainmaker Tourism and Hospitality Marketing Academy keeps you up to date with the most recent developments in Digital Presence Exposure, Optimisation, Reputation and Distribution Management.
Every month we publish a dedicated marketing tip or highlight certain travel and consumer trends for the Tourism and Hospitality Industry.
Rainmaker is the brainchild of some of the most experienced hospitality, tourism and digital marketing veterans in the industry. We bring 50 years of experience in the hotel, tourism, sales and marketing fields, as well as more than 35 years of experience in IT and 15 years digital marketing experience to your project. This is enhanced by over seven years of in-depth research and involvement in the Southern African hospitality and tourism industry, giving us peerless insight into the various source markets, market segments, value chains and market dynamics.
TIP #6 | Namibian Tourism Statistics – Decrypted
Did you know that among the 1.57 million foreign arrivals to Namibia, only one-sixth are relevant to tourism? Rainmaker has decrypted the Namibian tourism statistics for you.
As usual, we have received astonishing tourism statistics from the Ministry of Tourism last year. No question, tourism throughout Southern Africa has grown significantly in 2016 (and yes that is the latest tourism statistic from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism released in December 2017).
This is largely due to the optimal exchange rate but, above all, to the fact that many European and international destinations have more or less failed due to terror and other events. Also, you have to praise the good work of the Namibian Tourism Board in Frankfurt.
According to MET statistics, more than 1.46 million tourists (out of the 1.57 million foreign travellers) travelled to Namibia in 2016. But is this correct information relevant to tourism?
Let’s examine the number exactly. Of the approx. 1.47 million tourists, about 399,000 were from Angola. Angolans have little to no relevance to tourism. Angolans come to shop, to do business and get medical treatment. Many of these travellers can also be classified as VFR – Visiting Friends and Relatives.
About 342,000 travellers came from South Africa. We all know that many South Africans come here to do business, but still tick ‘tourist’ on the form. Another high proportion are campers who bring everything they need in their trailer. Again, the influence on tourism businesses such as lodges, guesthouses, etc. is limited. Among these travellers, approximately 150,157 South Africans are also VFR – Visiting Friends and Family. Now we still have to deduct the approx. 52,000 travellers who come to Namibia explicitly for business reasons.
Similarly, for the same reasons as with Angola and South Africa, we deduct Zambia (190,000), Zimbabwe (83,000) and Botswana (50,000).
Thus, of the total of about 1.47 million arrivals, only about 354,000 real tourists are left. Of these, about 50% come from Germany, the UK, France and the US, followed by The Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, Portugal and Belgium.
Almost half of European tourists are over 50 years old, while Namibia has lost many guests in the important 30-50 age group in recent years.
Calculating the average length of stay of about 19 days, this results in about 6.7 million overnight stays per year. Spread over approx. 2,100 NTB-registered accommodations, this results in an annual average total utilization of approx. 31%.
An occupancy that is alarming for every hotelier, because usually a guest enterprise can only profitably be operated from approx. 60% utilization.
That is why it is particularly important to address new target markets and new market segments. It is also necessary to reduce the seasonality in Namibia and to attract tourists all year round.
We have to make sure that all market participants, whether lodges, B&Bs, car-rental companies, activity providers, but also tour operators, optimally present themselves digitally and offer attractive products for new target groups. It is not enough just to walk the traditional paths. The industry must jointly develop new markets and new target groups in order to remain competitive. Here, a special focus on the young tourists is vital, but these days all of them are online.
The new routes from Condor, KLM, Qatar and others open up incredible opportunities for new attractive products for young people and should ideally be incorporated in Namibian strategies.

Mobile check-in goes live for Australian international flights

Mobile check-in goes live for Australian international flights
It News – 6 August 2018
Qantas to introduce service in October.
International travellers flying out of Australia will no longer have to physically check into their flight under changes to the border clearance process unveiled today.
The federal government has begun allowing airlines to issue electronic boarding passes for international flights, as part of its ‘seamless traveller’ initiative.
It follows several successful trials by the Department of Home Affairs with airlines.
The changes will allow travellers check-in and display their boarding pass using a mobile device instead of having to visit the check-in desk before being issued with a paper ticket.
However this will be conditional on individual airlines implementing the changes and issuing electronic boarding passes.
Qantas, for instance, expects to begin offering customers access to digital boarding passes – with the exception of US departures – from October.
It started offering customers the service between Australia and New Zealand over 12 months ago as a trial with Border Force, a Qantas spokesperson told iTnews.
Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs Alan Tudge said the change was the government’s latest step to respond to an increasing volume of international travellers, which climbed to 21.4 million last year.
“These increasing volumes mean we are always looking for ways to clear legitimate travellers efficiently and seek out those of interest to law enforcement,” he said.
“This change will cut out the need to visit the check-in desk to show your passport and collect your paper boarding pass.
“Australia is a world leader in seamless travel and this move will allow travellers to move across our border smoothly.”
The government had already done away with the outgoing passenger card, opting to pull passenger information from existing government data since July 2017.
It is also planning to replace the physical incoming passenger card with an online solution that collects answers to questions and passes them onto Home Affairs systems.
Tudge said the introduction of mobile boarding passes would complement the government’s fleet of departures and arrivals smartgates.
The newer smartgate technology at departure gates currently processes more than 73 percent of travellers leaving Australia.
Home Affairs is currently trialling ‘face on the move’ passenger recognition technology at selected airports to replace the ageing arrivals smartgates.
The new automated biometric border control solution is intended to match individuals against facial images stored in airlines’ advanced passenger processing systems, removing the need for travellers to present their passports at the gate to clear immigration
Initial tests have correctly matched 94 percent of travellers.
Sydney Airport has similarly begun conducting its own ‘couch-to-gate’ biometrics trial with select international Qantas passengers.

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